We're here to help: Shareowners Organizations

5 Hidden Benefits To EQ's Onboarding Process

Monday, July 9, 2018

Michelle Medellin, Client Service Consultant and Conversion Team Lead at EQ, outlines what new clients can expect during the onboarding process, as well as a few benefits you might not expect.

Whether you're outsourcing your shareholder services for the first time or are switching to a different transfer agent, the step every company fears the most is the data conversion process. Moving all that sensitive data is bound to cause problems, right?

It doesn’t have to be that way. "At EQ, we believe there's more to a successful conversion than preventing problems," says Medellin. "In fact, there are plenty of positive things that come out of the process." Here are five unexpected ways that the onboarding process can actually be good for your business, right from the start.

1. Clean data

Accuracy and prevention of data loss are undoubtedly the two biggest concerns most companies have going into the onboarding process.

Successfully converted more than 900,000 shareholders recently from blue chip companies including General Electric, Procter & Gamble, The Southern Company, and Pacific Gas & Electric.

When shareholder data is moved from the prior agent, the EQ conversion team does a thorough validation of all the data to make sure everything is moved over – every fractional share, every active account, open or closed – to ensure the integrity of the data and continuity of services. "We have professional relationships with other transfer agents, and we act as the middleman. We know what to look for. We ask the questions you don't know to ask," says Medellin.

For those who remember data transfers in the pre-digital days, FTP servers have made the entire process much simpler and easier to secure. You should expect both accuracy and security from your conversion team – and a whole lot more.

EQ sets the bar in the industry for their thorough data validation process. "We do full account scrubs, looking at everything from shareholder addresses to dividend payments and sale history," says Medellin.  Accounts that should have been closed and are costing you money are reviewed. Duplicates and discrepancies are caught and addressed. Account tax certifications are reviewed. "I'd say we go above and beyond. We certify their certifications." The end result is cleaner data that's easier for your company to use. They should know, because they're the experts. EQ currently manages records for 23 million shareholder relationships and consistently ranks highest in client satisfaction surveys.

2. Cost savings

When old or duplicate records are cleaned up during the data validation process, you save money – especially if you're operating under a shareholder-based fee structure. Rather than worrying about data loss, you should be asking how long it's been since your current transfer agent did a thorough cleanup of your data.

3. Process improvement

An experienced conversion team also takes a close look at the products and processes you have in place and makes recommendations to improve them. "We're not going to continue a process just because that's how it was always done,” says Medellin. "We look for process efficiencies and ways we can add value."

We utilize our experts to make sure you aren't missing any opportunities to update your product offerings, streamline processes or improve the shareholder experience. It's an advantage that only a seasoned conversion team can provide.

4. Risk reduction

Your conversion team may also be able to suggest improvements or recommend tools that reduce risk. Reducing the number of instances where manual data entry is required, for example, reduces the risk of human error. You'll want to make sure your transfer agent stays on top of emerging technologies that can automate repetitive tasks or streamline processes. Using experienced insight and powerful tools, an experienced conversion team will create targeted solutions that best fit your company and your goals.

5. Communications reboot

Bonus! Your shareholder communications plan gets a complete overhaul – with very little effort on your part. Your EQ conversion team supplies you with a communications plan, complete with timelines and templates for key shareholder notifications to cover the transition period. But they don't stop there.

"We do a complete audit of all shareholder communications, from quarterly statements to transaction statements to tax forms," says Medellin. In addition to reviewing for compliance with legal requirements, they help you update your messaging and eliminate unnecessary and costly mailings.

In the end, it's all about experience. EQ's depth of knowledge and years of experience ensure not just a smooth process, but plenty of hidden benefits.